Purpose of Blog
As you read through the
There are various answers to these questions hinted at in the Leftist LUNCs, themselves. I will briefly discuss each in this blog.
Sunday, August 4, 2013
The Politics of Ignorance
I am not alone in my perception. Renown conservative pundits, including Rush Limbaugh, frequently make reference to "low information voters." (see HERE and HERE). And, leftist philosophers, themselves, once referred to the liberal masses as "useful idiots."
Interestingly enough, the phrase "low information voter" was coined during the 90's and often used by "liberals to refer to people who vote conservative against their own interests, and assumes they do it because they lack sufficient information. Liberals...attribute the problem in part to deliberate Republican efforts at misinforming voters." (See HERE)
And, while a 2012 paper suggested that the Democrat Party was as likely and responsible as Republican for "low information voters" (ibid), a recent Pew survey about political knowledge and open mindedness indicated, "Not only did 'Republicans fare substantially better than Democrats on several questions in the survey,' Pew says, but that's 'typically the case in surveys about political knowledge.'" (See HERE. See also HERE and HERE and HERE)
This finding is underscored by another Pew study which indicates that, "Three-quarters of Staunch Conservatives (75%), two-thirds of Libertarians (67%) and about six-in-ten Solid Liberals (61%) say they follow what is going on in government and public affairs most of the time." (See HERE)
So, evidently, the leftist perception of conservatives in the 90's may have ironically been a myth of their own making, which has now come back to bite them.
Political ignorance isn't just a function of lack of personal study, research, and education, though these are significant factors, as various "man on the street" interviews attest. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)
It also entails narrowing one's exposure to information sources that merely echo back one's own point of view, giving one a limited perspective and making one vulnerable to confirmation bias, demagoguery, and dogmatic indoctrination. How can one learn of political party mistakes if all one is feed is the party line? A perfect example can be read HERE.
And, while both conservatives and liberals tend to be partisan in their choice of news programs (see HERE land HERE and HERE), according to a Pew study, a higher percentage of Republicans also watch the leftist network news than Democrats watch the right-leaning Fox News (see HERE), and a respectable number of Republicans also watch the various leftist cable news shows (ibid.), giving them broader political exposure.
The irony is that the Left has long been a big proponent of open-mindedness and the benefits of diversity, and yet they tend to restrict their information sources and associations to like-minded people and things. This holds true within the liberal education system (see HERE and HERE), the liberal news (see HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE), liberal Hollywood (see HERE and HERE), and liberal social circles in Washington D.C. and elsewhere (See HERE)
Be that as it may, reason suggests that in politics, as with most all aspects of life, the more informed the decision, in terms of breadth and depth and diversity, the better the decision, and vice-versa. Political ignorance, then, explains in part why Leftist LUNCs repeatedly occur.
Examples can be found not only in the "man in the street" interviews linked above, but also HERE and HERE and most any time in the comment sections of the Huffington Post.